The Annual Lecture in Church History took place on Thursday 14th April in the Presbytery Hall at Edinburgh Theological Seminary.
Delivering this year’s lecture was Dr Zachary Purvis, Lecturer in Church History at Edinburgh Theological Seminary.
The lecture, titled ‘Reformers with Inky Fingers’, invited the audience to look over the shoulder of pastors and printers, theologians and scribes, whose valiant dedication to the pursuit of truth made the Reformation what it was. It ranged widely from Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon to John Calvin and Peter Martyr Vermigli, Erasmus of Rotterdam to the Westminster Assembly. It showed how fresh attention to ‘inky realities’—careful reading of texts, deciphering of marginalia, tracing of arcane references, building of libraries—holds great promise for better understanding not only the Reformers, but also the theology, piety, and practice of the Protestant tradition today.
Dr Zachary Purvis is Lecturer of Church of History at Edinburgh Theological Seminary. He studied at the University of Oxford (DPhil, 2014) and Westminster Seminary California (MA, 2011) and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Previously, he was Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Göttingen, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and Kingdon Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has received support from a variety of organisations, including the US Fulbright Program, Swiss Federal Scholars Commission, German Academic Exchange Service, and Leibniz-Institute for European History.
His articles have appeared in the Journal of the History of Ideas, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Church History, and Modern Reformation, and his two recent books were published by Oxford University Press and Brill.
He and his wife, Jessica, have two young children and a third on the way.